Monday, November 12, 2012

Towards Zero by Agatha Christie

I love Agatha Christie, really love her. And you know, Towards Zero is really different from her other books, in a good way. It sort of stars Superintendent Battle as our lead detective, and has a very unique sort of murders.

You see, Towards Zero postulates (that's a word that should be used more often) that a murder begins before someone dies. After all, it starts when someone decides to kill. And so, a murder occurs, and it's not as simple as it seems. There is Mr Strange, his first wife Audrey and his second wife Kay, all visiting his elderly relative when she's murdered. Add in a whole cast of characters and you have so many suspects you don't know what you're going to do.

The book is generally, really good, with interesting characters and a strong plot, except for two things:

One, Mr Treves, the guy who introduces the idea of "Zero Hour" dies halfway through the book. WHY???? -sobs-

Two, in the last few chapters, some dude called MacWhirther suddenly appears, falls in love with Audrey and proceeds to become the key to solving this case. Again, WHYYY?????

I thought Agatha Christie was above cheap plot tricks like this. Why couldn't she just keep Mr Treves alive till the end, and let him help the police? I don't mind if Audrey ends up alone forever, she's not a favourite character of mine anyway.

Basically, this was a generally awesome book because it was a departure from Agatha Christie's normal books. I just wish that there wasn't this sort of plot trick inside (ok, but since it introduces a character and not a new piece of evidence at the last minute, I can sort of overlook it).

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